Lack of quality opponents the main problem for Katie Taylor
Latest win shows word has got around that Irish boxer is toxic to a lightweight career
Katie Taylor with Jasmine Clarkson during Saturday’s fight in Brooklyn. Photograph: Emily Harney/INPHO
Another stoppage for Katie Taylor. Another source of frustration for the Irish lightweight who has craved meeting quality opponents but, at the moment, just can’t get them.
Taylor was 1-200 to win her sixth professional fight against the 22-year-old from Texas, Jasmine Clarkson, and justified those odds by winning in the same manner as she has with most of her opposition to date, this time with a third-round stoppage on the undercard of Mikey Garcia’s decision win over Adrien Broner in Brooklyn on Saturday.
Word has got around that Taylor is toxic material to a lightweight career with her first win on her US debut again underscoring a seamless transfer from amateur to the professional ranks.
“It is hard getting her matched, but I think we are one fight away from challenging for a world title,” promoter Eddie Hearn told Sky after the bout.
So the 31-year-old Taylor’s name and reputation as the most dangerous fighter to come on the scene in the past year precedes her with her ninth place in the Boxing Rec female rankings again looking like a gross underestimate.
“I thought it went okay,” said Taylor. “It was a great experience here tonight. I thought I handled it pretty well. She’s a tough girl but I did get caught with a few silly shots as well.
“It was a fantastic experience being my first time competing here in the US,” she added. “There were definitely some nerves before the fight. It was great to go in there and get a stoppage.
“There are things I definitely need to improve on but overall I thought it was a good performance. The reaction out there was great.”
Taylor was able to land punches at will and dominated the Texan with her usual power and pace. Typically beating Clarkson to the punch as she has done in her previous five outings, Taylor outclassed the American, who had stepped up and accepted the challenge just days before the bout.
The first two rounds belonged to Taylor and although she was caught by Clarkson, her dominance was never in jeopardy. Faster and aggressive, Taylor was the go forward fighter scoring points at will.
The World and Olympic amateur champion then landed some big lefts in the third round with Clarkson’s corner seeing how it was going and not wishing their fighter take anymore punishment .
In a bout that was moving in just one direction, Clarkson’s corner threw in the towel and the referee waved it to a close. Again there were no disputes about who was the stronger woman or how it ended.
For the Texan it was her seventh loss in her past nine fights. But it is the first time in her career she has been stopped. Taylor improves her professional numbers to six wins in six outings, four of those by stoppage.
“I didn’t really catch her with any significant big shot,” added Taylor. “I think it was just the constant pressure over three rounds. I didn’t expect the fight to be stopped but obviously the corner thought it was the right decision and I was happy enough.
“I definitely feel I’m ready for a world title. I’m definitely ready and willing to fight whoever who steps into the ring and I’m looking forward to fighting in Ireland at some time.”
Male sparring partners
Taylor can only beat what is put in front of her and has had to rely on male sparring partners in the US to keep her at world level. Her team now have another bout planned before she makes her way back to Ireland for the anticipated title fight in Dublin at some stage in the autumn.
But the road ahead looks tough for her team of Hearn, Brian Peters and match maker Tomas Rohan in their quest to get better quality fighters in the ring with Taylor.
Of those fighters above her on the Boxing Rec rankings, the number one Delfine Persoon is Belgian, there is one American Jessica McCaskill at third and the six others are all from Argentina.
The World Boxing Council (WBC) have Taylor ranked at six and Vivian Obaneauf, who Taylor has previously beaten, at 11.
In the main event the three division world title holder Garcia came through against Broner with a unanimous decision. The judges all had it for Garcia, 117-111, 116-112 and 116-112 in front of a crowd of 12,084 at Barclays Centre.
A reigning lightweight titleholder, Garcia moved up to junior welterweight to put on a majestic performance to outbox and outfight Broner.